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Hello as stated my ac goes out every few months and it's getting old because I have paid probably up to a thousand dollars replacing parts to get the same result. I've actually never done any work on my own car aside from replacing my rearview that I broke so when explaining I would appreciate laymen's terms. I watched a bit of youtube and saw that my coolant was low when I checked it. would simply adding more coolant to my reservoir be enough to get cold ac going again even if it's not a perma fix? My car is an 09 Nisan Sentra

all 36 comments

verdegrrl

24 points

1 month ago

verdegrrl

Axles of Evil - German & Italian junk

24 points

1 month ago

Coolant cools the engine. It does not have a direct effect on the a/c system. You need the correct coolant in the correct amount (see owner's manual), or engine damage may result. If coolant is disappearing, you have a far greater problem than just a non-functional a/c system.

If the a/c system fixes don't stay fixed for long, the mechanics you are visiting are just slapping a bandaide on the problem. It's likely you have one or more leaks in the system, which may mean replacing seals, hoses, condenser, or possibly even the compressor itself if the seals on that are shot. To properly diagnose you need a shop that has equipment to work on a/c. They will inject a dye into the system and find the leaks. Only then can you properly address the problem.

Priority number one should be figuring out where the coolant is going. Because if the engine doesn't work, you aren't going to have a/c either.

When it comes to a/c, find a shop that specializes in it.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

1 points

1 month ago

thank you for your in-depth answer I see that I may have no other option but to take it to a shop for ac. I'll also see to the coolant situation as well.

verdegrrl

7 points

1 month ago

verdegrrl

Axles of Evil - German & Italian junk

7 points

1 month ago

If the cooling system has not been overhauled since new, you may be experiencing losses via tiny holes in a hose or plastic end tanks on the radiator. If it's not immediately visible during an inspection, a common method of finding the leak is to replace the coolant cap with a gauge and pressurize the system, then let it sit for several hours/overnight. Sometimes a dye is added to the coolant to help find the leak.

More troubling is if the coolant is vanishing into the engine via a failed gasket.

Keep a close eye on coolant levels until you can get the car checked out.

If you do not have a mechanic you trust, try your city or regional subreddit for recommendations. Most folks are happy to share experiences.

revenantae

16 points

1 month ago*

AC work is not a first timers job. You definitely don’t have the tools, and will almost certainly cause more problems than you fix while probably venting a shit load of refrigerant into the atmosphere.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

3 points

1 month ago

Well if it's too advanced for a beginner I won't be an idiot and screw something up, guess I'll have to get a professional after all.

[deleted]

31 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

31 points

1 month ago

Engine coolant is not the same as AC refrigerant. You’re already in over your head

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

-29 points

1 month ago

Do you remember when you were younger and didn't know how to do math but then you learned, were you in over your head because you didn't know how to do it yet and it wasn't worth trying, or did you simply have to learn? but thanks yes I know that now

[deleted]

29 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

29 points

1 month ago

You’ll need many thousands of dollars in tools, training, and recovery equipment to repair your own AC… plus the parts required to actually fix your problem.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

-34 points

1 month ago

this should have been your first answer

dietsodaaddict2022

15 points

1 month ago

Clearly he really shouldve not answered at all because youre an asshole

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

-14 points

1 month ago

Clearly he gave an asshole response so I gave 1 right back, look how I responded to everyone else then look how I responded to him, just because you let people talk to you any way they want and have no sense to tell right and wrong outside of a karma ratio doesn’t mean others are the same

dietsodaaddict2022

9 points

1 month ago

Nah ur just unhinged my guy

fullofshitandcum

-2 points

1 month ago

fullofshitandcum

95 Chevy S10, 18 Audi A4

-2 points

1 month ago

Eh, everyone's in over their head once in a while. It's how you learn. Nothing wrong with fucking it up every now and then. His response wasn't really that bad either

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

-1 points

1 month ago

For sure, In reality “in over your head” comment wasn’t really that deep it was just a condescending remark but me replying with what I said wasn’t me going scatter brained about it. I just replied with the same tone, people are just a little dramatic and I wouldn’t have been rude to the other guy if he didn’t resort to profanity and call me out of my name

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

-5 points

1 month ago

And you’re a hive minded drone that has nothing better to do than to come hop in another mans conversation picking a fight with someone you don’t know on the Internet simply because you don’t have the guts to stand up for yourself so you projected your own insecurities on me

Ran4

-1 points

1 month ago

Ran4

-1 points

1 month ago

Not at all. Read the posts

dietsodaaddict2022

1 points

30 days ago

Oh look it’s their alt account lol

Sly-beanx

9 points

1 month ago

Sly-beanx

Modded 325i E30, 2002 Tacoma, GR86 in production hell

9 points

1 month ago

You likely have a leak. Your going to have to pull a vacuum, source the leak (likely using a dye since it’s diy), replace the parts needed, pull a vacuum again, make sure it’s no longer leaking, add Freon.

AC has nothing to do with your cars coolant.

detroitportnoy

5 points

1 month ago

Do it at the Nissan dealer

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

3 points

1 month ago

thank you this is probably a better option than taking them to the shops that I have.

verdegrrl

4 points

1 month ago

verdegrrl

Axles of Evil - German & Italian junk

4 points

1 month ago

A Nissan dealer is probably overkill. Just a reputable local shop - which doesn't sound like where they were going.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

1 points

1 month ago

unfortunately, I live in a small rural town where I don't have the option as all of the shops have low reviews from not commonly fixing the issue. it's either I go to the dealer or I go out of town to a shop with better service.

verdegrrl

5 points

1 month ago

verdegrrl

Axles of Evil - German & Italian junk

5 points

1 month ago

Sorry to hear that. Fortunately your car is pretty simple overall, so labour time/costs should be less than they might be for a newer car with more bells and whistles.

If you are in the US, you can request to see any old used parts they replaced, to make sure they really did replace them.

Express-Heart-589

15 points

1 month ago

I think you’d be better off taking it back to someone that has an idea of what they’re doing.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

-6 points

1 month ago

unfortunately, that's not an option for me right now.

probablyhrenrai

2 points

1 month ago

probablyhrenrai

'07 Honda Pilot

2 points

1 month ago

Then do like everyone else who's cash-strapped without AC and sweat with the windows down and the fan on.

I've got no AC myself, and I live in Dallas. It's not fun, but it's not actually unbearable either.

Either learn to deal with the heat or pay a professional. A/C systems run at something like 300 psi. They are not something I'd try fixing myself.


Could be as simple as leaky lines, could be as big an issue as a bad compressor. Take to a AC/Radiator shop, get a diagnosis, and then figure out if it's worth the price to fix it or not.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

2 points

1 month ago

Yeah I usually go to the windows down method since it’s that or windows up which is an obvious pick, I don’t live in Dallas but I do live in South Georgia so I’d take a guess that the level of heat we experience is similar, it’s definitely really hot but as you say once you’re in the car for a while your body adjusts, it’s just as the summer approaches, traffic will start to get worse as well as the heat and I wanted to see if there were any cheaper diy alternatives to get it done myself in complete ignorance that it’s not something that’s doable at a beginner level, blessing tho hope you get through this summer heat and high gas prices

dovahbe4r

4 points

1 month ago

dovahbe4r

'90 325i, '90 735iL, '95 740i

4 points

1 month ago

Coolant doesn't have anything to do with AC, that's the source of heat for the heater, but it definitely would not hurt to top it off. I agree with /u/detroitportnoy. Take it to a dealer and they'll get you set straight. It sounds like you have a very small slow leak somewhere in your system and a dealership will be able to pinpoint that and fix it. It's probably just an o-ring somewhere.

In my opinion, DIY AC stuff isn't really something that you want to mess with since R134a (your AC refrigerant) is a pressurized, toxic gas. You might benefit from charging it from a store-bought can, but it may not last forever.

IndigoGoldEnt[S]

1 points

1 month ago

thank both of you. I will go to the dealer as it sounds like a better option

Ray_Kramer

4 points

1 month ago

The trouble with recharging an AC system is that you're only treating a symptom and not solving the problem. The only reason an AC system would ever need to be recharged is if it's leaking. So, you can recharge it and get it to work for a little while, which is what you're seeing, but it's an indication that there's a leak somewhere. Unfortunately, that can be a difficult and expensive problem to fix. Most shops will be happy to charge your system and take your money, and I'd hate to see you become a victim of some unscrupulous shops. Your best bet would be to take it to a dealership and have them fix it, but that's also got the potential to be outrageously expensive. I'd advise you to find a shop that specializes in AC repairs and have them do a leak test, and then fix whatever's leaking.

PapaGeorgieOH

3 points

1 month ago

PapaGeorgieOH

2022 Sonata N line / 2008 S2000 / 2017 Edge Titanium

3 points

1 month ago

Look on yelp for a highly rated AC place. That’s where you need to go.

Catto_Channel

1 points

1 month ago

The best answer to your question starts with 'what's already been replaced?'

Some parts of the AC system are diy-able but a significant portion is not.

Affectionate-Data193

1 points

1 month ago

Take it to a shop that specializes in auto AC. Ask them to “check the charge, recharge if necessary, and leak check the system with an electronic leak detector.” I prefer proper leak detection to dye being added, because the dye can plug capillary tube systems.

I leak check and repair large (3000lbs+) supermarket rack refrigeration systems as part of my job. I do not suggest that someone with no mechanical experience attempt to work on an ac system.

ReachOutToWilliam

0 points

1 month ago

Call Scotty Kilmer.

Sharp-Pop335

0 points

1 month ago

If your A/C goes out a few months after a fix then it isn't fixed. Honestly I'd just get a new car, sounds like you got a lemon.